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First trust to launch Leadership Fellowship

Tuesday November 13, 2018

Consultant doctors from central and southern Africa have become the first to participate in a unique clinical leadership scheme set up by Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

The Western Sussex Hospitals Leadership Fellowship is a 4-week leadership course which provides newly-qualified consultants from overseas with additional training to help them manage hospitals in their own country.

Consultant anaesthetist, Dr Richard Venn, from Worthing Hospital, identified the need for more leadership training while volunteering in hospitals in Tanzania, in East Africa.

We are proud to be the first NHS trust to establish a Leadership Fellowship

Dr Venn said: “In some countries, newly-qualified consultants are immediately expected to manage whole departments, teach dozens of medical students and manage hospital teams and systems, without receiving non-clinical training.

“At Western Sussex Hospitals, we have a clinical leadership model and focus on continuous improvement that has helped us to become recognised as a centre of excellence in the UK.

“We regularly host visits from other hospitals to share our knowledge around the NHS and wished to extend our welcome to visitors from other countries too. Now, we are proud to be the first NHS trust to establish a Leadership Fellowship.”

On 8th October, five consultants from Zambia and Malawi became the first to embark upon the 4-week leadership course launched by Western Sussex Hospitals, with support from the Zambia Anaesthesia Development Program; Tropical Health Education Trust; British Association of Urological Surgeons; World Federation Of Societies of Anaesthesiologists; and Western Sussex Hospitals’ charity Love Your Hospital.

Consultant anaesthetist, Dr Naomi Shamambo from Zambia, said: “The trust’s hospitality is something I will never forget. Every day has had highlights that I will take home with me, but the main one for me is the concept of Patient First.”

Patient First is a trust-wide transformation programme initiated by Western Sussex Hospitals and recognised by the NHS as an exemplar of best practice which, through the daily practice of continuous improvement, empowers frontline staff to make services better for patients.

As part of the programme, the Leadership Fellowship doctors received expert training in Lean improvement techniques from the trust’s in-house Kaizen, or continuous improvement, team.

Dr Shamambo said: “At Western Sussex Hospitals you can see that the results of continuous improvement have been tremendous and that is something I can take back with me to Zambia, and really help my colleagues.”

In 2016, Western Sussex Hospitals became the first multi-site hospital trust to be rated “Outstanding” by the Care Quality Commission with the Chief Inspector of Hospitals commending the “trust-wide mantra of patients first”.

The Lean training has been extremely productive and very rewarding

Dr Collins Chakana from Zambia added: “What has struck me is how everyone is really pushing Patient First and how engaged and together everyone is. The Lean training has been extremely productive and very rewarding and I love the Patient First programme – it keeps on reminding us of what healthcare is at the highest quality.”

The Leadership Fellows received training related to management, productivity, procurement and human resources and shadowed the trust’s consultants to observe clinical leadership in the trust’s hospitals in Chichester, Worthing and Shoreham.

The course also included visits to other hospitals, Royal Colleges in London, specialty events, as well as the Western Sussex Hospitals’ Patient Experience staff conference.

Dr Chakana said: “It has been really enlightening. I have learned a lot about the structure of how hospitals are run, including Theatres and A&E, which is extremely beneficial.

“Everyone seems to really enjoy working here and they put a lot of effort into their work and I love that mentality, as it makes you want to work harder too.”  

Dr Shamambo added: “People here have been incredibly friendly and no matter who you are, you’re accepted and are part of the Western Sussex Hospitals family.

“The surroundings are breathtaking – the seaside at Worthing, the historic feel to Chichester – and the hospitality from the community of West Sussex has been something that I will never forget.”

On Friday 2 November 2018, consultant doctors Collins Chakana, Victor Mapulanga,

Christine Msadabwe and Naomi Shamambo from Zambia, and Charles Mabedi from Malawi, completed the first phase of the inaugural Western Sussex Hospitals Leadership Fellowship programme. Next year, each doctor will present a local improvement project which has put their learning into practice where they work.

Meanwhile, the content and structure of the trust’s first Leadership Fellowship is being externally validated to help inform how the programme will evolve in the years to come.

Chief executive of Western Sussex Hospitals, Marianne Griffiths, said: “It is wonderful to see our clinicians wishing to share their expertise and experience more widely in order to benefit more and more patients, irrespective of where they live.

“Our new Leadership Fellowship takes our proactive approach to continuous improvement in healthcare to new audiences around the world and we are proud to have launched a unique scheme that has such huge potential.”

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